On Wednesday, April 6, Vice President of Internal Affairs Michael Ervin announced that UCR will host a bike share program beginning in fall 2016. The program, hosted by the company Zagster, will host 50 shuttle bikes across six locations on campus. These locations include the University Village, Bannockburn Village, the bike rack between Costo Hall and the HUB, as well as parking lots 30, 15 and 26.
This program will cost $87,000 for the next school year with Transportation and Parking Services providing $50,000 to fund the program and the Student Recreation Center providing an additional $10,000. The remaining $27,000 will be supported by Green Campus Action Plan funds. These costs will cover the installation of the bikes, insurance and other preliminary fees.
Zagster hosts a mobile application for students, which allows them to sign up using their UCR email. Once students are logged on to the application, they can use it to unlock and rent one of the solar-powered bikes on campus. As part of an agreement with campus, Zagster will allow students to ride these bikes for free the first three hours. After the first three hours, students will have to pay either $1 or $2 an hour to rent the bikes.
“We’re not trying to make money off of it,” Ervin explained. “The only reason we’re going to be charging for that is because we want students to eventually return the bike.”
In 2002 UCR hosted a bike share program; however, after one year a third of the bikes were stolen, causing its cancellation. To further help prevent theft and identify which parts of campus are the most popular, the bikes will have a geolocator to identify their location.
Ervin, who has been working on implementing this program since February 2015, is excited that the program will launch in the fall. “I was really glad that I got a chance to help carry (the program) out … I won’t be around to implement it (due to his graduation) … But it’s going to be done entirely for students,” Ervin concluded.